Tuesday, 29 September 2015

REVIEW: L'Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim

This L'Oreal eyeliner caught my eye (pun intended) because of it's tiny nib. My forever beloved Rimmel liner has a reasonably fat nib compared and with my never ending wishfulness to create the perfect cat-eye, I thought I'd give it a go.

First impressions were very similar to all the other felt-tip style liners I've tried in the past - sharp, but not great for filling in. However, after a bit of perseverance I actually really, really like this. I use it 50:50 with the Rimmel liquid liner - this to give me the sharp lines and fill inbetween my lashes for a super dark look and the Rimmel to ensure longevity (that stuff just doesn't budge all day).  

I love this, I'll be certain to repurchase when it unfortunately runs out.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

WEEKENDER: September

This month the seasons really changed. I never really feel the definate day that the season's click over to the next, but this time it's felt as though someone's flicked a switch and Autumn has arriiived! 

I also started a new job. It's 45 minutes away from home along the motorway - on a good day. I've never been one for commuting. I always thought that the 20 minutes morning and evening was pretty standard and enough, but it's now about two hours a day and I'm tired.

What I do love about this though is that I get to see some absolutely stunning skies morning and night. I am constantly chasing the sun. Despite the tiredness, I love it.

Friday, 25 September 2015

BAKE: Lavender Biscuits

I love lavender.

I have a hedge of it along the path to my front door. I love how people and animals and insects alike love it. It's a good all rounder. I've cut it and put sprigs of it in my car when I've travelled long distance to calm me. I've put it in amongst rice and made my family and friends hand warmers. I've (blates) got little satchets in my top drawer keeping my smalls perfectly scented. The only thing I've never got round to doing with it is eating it.

Cue a random explore on instagram and the uncovering of a lovely internet space My Little Online Tea Room.  Although Sarah found the recipe initially on the Kath Kidston blog (curtesy of the lovely Liv) she tweaked the recipe a fraction, and I too have tweaked it due to what my pantry was/n't currently stocked with.

What you will need:
60g plain flour
50g ground rice
100g butter
50g sugar
A squeeze of lemon
Two or three sprigs of fresh lavender, stalks removed and finely chopped.

To start off with, I mixed the flour, sugar and ground rice together before rubbing in the butter. Once it started getting sticky I squeezed a bit of lemon in there and popped the lavender in too. Then I rolled the whole mix into a ball. I roughly rolled the mix out flat (maybe 5mm thick) and used a scalloped cookie cutter to cut out about twelve biscuits. Bash them in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they're golden and Bob's your Uncle, you've got a fine selection of lavender biscuits to nibble alongside your afternoon cuppa.

If you give this a go, let me know how you get on!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

REVIEW: MUA Elysium Palette

I can't say I've ever really tried MUA makeup apart from the usual nail polishes (here) and single eyeliner I tried a few weeks back. But, since I've noticed more and more people using reds and ambers in their eye sockets for an Autumn look, I've been on the hunt for an affordable and wearable eyeshadow palette that I can experiment with.

The MUA Elysium Palette is only £6. It had four matte shades, six shimmer shades and a duel ended eye pencil with eyeliner at one end and a highlighter at the other. For all that I thought it wasn't bad for the money. I was a tad worried about pigment though and whether it would actually stay on my greasy lids.

I'm not going to exaggerate and say this is the greatest autumn palette. It's not. The shimmer shades are basically just shimmer with very little colour beneath it. The matte shades are slightly better, but they're very powdery and tend to accumulate throughout the day into a thick line in my crease rather than staying blended (even after I use a primer).

On the whole though, I'm stoked for £6. A little bit more effort throughout the day and blending on a morning works out at value for money for me and I like the effect it's given my usual everyday eyelined look.

Sunday, 20 September 2015


We're I'm redecorating the living room.

From a deep purple to what we've termed 'Century Scandi' - basically navy, grey, mustard and crisp white with textures that will hopefully make it a 'wowing', but homely room.

I love scandi stylings, so efficient and useful, but often it's more minimalistic than we are and, to me, century styling represents an opulence of the wishful rather than the necessary - that's where the homely comes into play and it will (hopefully) look effortlessly lived in rather than messy.

We started by picking a deep blue for our feature, fireplace wall. We tried numerous colours including the Farrow and Ball Stiffkey Blue, but the only blue we both agreed on was Fedora Blue by Valspar. It's a lovely navy.

Valspar had an offer on tester pots recently so I bought about fifteen tiny pots of different greys and yellows, trying to find a combination that worked well together and one that we both liked.

In the end I created my own grey by mixing a load of shades together to get the tone and depth of colour just right. For me it's still too dark, for the Lad it's still too light, but it's a good compromise.

The curtains were a surprise bargain find. We had originally planned to make our own roman blind if we found the right fabric (cue a lot of umming and ahhing and 'oh my god how much! exclaiming in John Lewis), but we stumbled across these beautiful mustard panels in the Range. They come singularly and unlined so we bought two (which came to the same price as one metre of the fabric we liked in JL) and some lining fabric. It took us a whole afternoon to unpick, line, sew and hem them, but they look fantastic now.

I also gave up trying to find the right mustard/yellow colour to paint our picture frames and got the curtains colour matched by Valspar. I'll try and use the offcuts of the curtains to make cushion covers, along with the pom poms from our new lampshade so everything should tie in well. Fingers crossed anyway!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

READ: #31 Sunshine, #32 The Garden, #33 Green Angel, #34 The Yorkshire Shepherdess

This is one of my favourite books. Published back in 2003, I bought this not long afterwards - way before the Vampire Diaries or Twilight ever came into the public eye. This is a great representation of what the world would be like after an Apocalypse of zombies, werewolves and 'Others' came out of the closet - so to speak. Sunshine is an ordinary girl working in a bakery, she has a normal family and a normal routine until she's snatched by the worst of the Others: vampires. I used to love this book in it's entirety, however during this re-read I found Sunshine repeated a lot of her worries over and over instead of actually moving past them until right at the end. I suppose it adds to the suspension of the plot, but because I know the ending, it wasn't fast enough for my liking. For someone who likes a bit of Sci-i/fantasy, it's a superb book.

This is the story of the Garden of Eden told by Eve. Eve is brought up by the Serpent (otherwise known as Justice and Wisdom) whilst Adam is brought up by God. The plot follows Eve as she learns more about her surroundings and about herself. This covers a pretty deep topic - not just religion - and I found it an excellent read just by the way Aidinoff presents the taboo of religion versus the  freedom of an individual.

A short, but very powerful book. Green is a girl who's life is completely ruined. This tale is about how she copes and what she does to overcome her grief and how death is a part of life. Beautiful and strong, this book covers all emotions.

This is not the kind of book I would normally pick up and read - it was loaned to me by our neighbour (hence it's not pictured as I had to give it back). Pretty glad she did though because this Amanda Owen is awesome! She describes her life growing up in suburban Huddersfield, then her struggles as a teen trying to get into the shepherd business, growing a reputation and finding a foothold in  amongst the farmers, before then meeting her future husband. I love that in one of her favourite farming books as a kid, there's a picture of him at a livestock market - that is definately fate at it's best. I really want to go visit her farm and try some of her famous scones!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

BATTLE: Salt Spray

Style Expertise Texture Salt Infusion Surf Spray
The cheapest of the trio and also the smallest at 100ml, this little beasty pulls it's weight amongst the big guys; it has a perfumed scent that works well alongside other hair products, it's spray works as a fine mist so I can spray it directly onto the ends of my hair without fear of it spraying onto one spot and weirdly wetting a patch of my hair, it's super good for travelling with due to it's small size.

Tresemme Perfectly Undone Sea Salt Spray
Love, love, love the smell of this! It's like a perfume in itself and I love moving my head about during the day and catching a whiff of this. It's spray is much wetter than that of the Style Expertise spray, so I rub it in my hands before applying to my hair, but it's much less sticky than the Trevor Sorbie spray.

This is an old favourite. We've used this one for about a year now, although I never really thought about Battling it against any others until we reached nearly the end of it. This has a sticky formula that works really well on curls as it holds the curl as well as giving it a texture. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

HOW TO: Make a Pom Pom Lampshade

When my Grandma died, I inherited a wooden standard lamp. We swapped the Grandma style lampshade with tassels and a flowery print for a simple, streamlined black one from Habitat. It's been like that for the past six years. It worked with our past living room decor, but for our new living room, it looked too simple.

What you will need:
Some pom pom decorative trim cut at the length of the circumference of the shade you choose.
Some clear-drying fabric glue.
A lampshade in the style and colour of your choice.
A selection of pegs to help hold the trim onto the shade whilst the glue dries.

My fabric glue stated that I needed to apply a line of glue to each surface and wait five minutes. So I put a line of glue along my trim and a line of glue along the inner edge of my shade. 

You could, if you wanted to, put the trim on the outside and have the whole trim on show, but we decided to hide the top part inside and just have the pom poms on show.

This was pretty messy and I got glue all over me. It would probably be easier sticking the trim on the outside edge to avoid having to maneover around the shade spokes. I got the Lad involved at this stage to stop the remaining trim being dragged all over the table top and rest of the lampshade. Once I'd successfully arranged a section and pressed the glue together I secured it with a peg and moved onto the next stage. After ten minutes the glue was set and we bashed the shade back onto the standard lamp.

To tie in every section of the room together, I'm also planning on using this pom pom trim on cushion covers. Keep an eye out for that HOW TO because I can tell that's going to be a learning curve and a half to sew!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

LIFE: MASTER PLAN SIDE A: 9 month update

It's nine months since I took my last contraceptive pill. Pretty weird still. Having said that, I'm feeling so much better. Like a weight has lifted and I'm light and ready for anything. That's also pretty weird, but also true.

1. I feel totally normal
I feel much calmer, sedate and less irritable. I see other people's point of view much easier than I ever have. I can communicate what I'm feeling or how other people are feeling much more effectively and smoothly. As long as I have a good night's sleep I'm up for interacting with friends and family more often too (albeit not TOO often), but I don't get as much of an impulse to sit away from others and not get involved. 

2. Give or take a few days, my periods are regular
This makes me feel a little safer when going out and about. My periods have settled to pretty much spot on 4 weeks apart and although they're quite a bit heavier than they were whilst on the pill. I also feel much better for having them. It's not so much of an inconvenience as more of a 'oh I'm glad I'm on finally! I can get rid of this bloating now!' Yes, I get super bloated just before. Maybe a bit TMI, but this isn't something I've ever experienced before. Struggling to get my work trousers done up the first month was a bit worrying, but it's a rhythm and it obviously my rhythm so I best get used to it.

3. I smell
I've never been a particularly sweaty betty, but this summer I think I suddenly became one. I've had to up my hygiene game a lot. I've never used anti-perspirents or deodorants because I've never had the need, so it's been an eye opener trying different things and seeing how my body responds to them. What I Learnt: Mitchum is a winner.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

REVIEW: Dove Pure Care Dry Oil

I've been getting up super early to commute for an 1.5 hours each way to a new place of work these past couple of weeks so my skin and hair have been feeling pretty dull and lifeless.

I picked this Dove Dry Hair Oil thinking it would help revive the ends of my hair that have been getting battered by my hair drier/straighteners/curling iron. I was right. It did. It does.

It smells ay-may-zing! It's like that just-out-of-the-hairdressers scent that makes me feel a million dollars (pretty good for someone that never goes to the hairdressers - ever). 

I used two tiny drops of oil and covered the ends of my hair first, before running my fingers through the higher lengths. I have medium to long hair at the moment and two drops covered my hair really well. Any more and the oil would have completely overpowered my hair and probably greased it right up.

Considering this bottle is 100ml, I'm going to get an absolute ton of uses out of this one purchase. Win!

I've used an Argan oil before and found it really heavy on my hair, but this is a super light formula. When I've curled my hair after using this, the curls have held as though I have no moisturising product in there - usually they fall out super fast if I do.

I didn't pay the full price (£9.99) for this, however I would fully recommend using this if you need to revitalise your hair or give yourself a bit of a pamper.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

BAKE: Oat Biscuits

Back in Spring, I posted a recipe for Oat Cookies. I love oats. I love biscuits. Discovering a new recipe for combining my two loves = win. This is originally a gluten free recipe. I adapted it for the ingredients I had in my cupboards - and my tolerance of gluten.

60g plain flour
150g oats
125g butter
85g sugar
1 egg
2tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp baking powder

Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius. Cream the butter and sugar together in one bowl, whilst in another combine all of the other ingredients. It will look crumbly, but that's okay. Then bash both mixes together. It will, again, look like it will never combine, but it will. Then it will look too sticky. Use a load of flour to help you roll out the mix without it sticking to you, the worktop, the rolling pin or the cutter. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.

Be careful when removing the biscuits from the tray. I found that leaving them to cool on the tray made them easier to manhandle. They're extremely crumbly whilst they're warm, but stay intact when cooled.


Thursday, 3 September 2015


I'm fairly certain that most of you will have tried CO LAB at some point over the past year or so.

But, although I've tried CO LAB, I've not tried all the fragrances. Suprisingly (or not), with the recent offer on the miniatures in Superdrug, I decided to try the two original scents that I've not had the pleasure of trying out yet -  New York and Rio. I've tried London - don't rate it. Its smell is definately not to my taste. Paris is much better, but still, doesn't beat a good ol' blast of Batiste

Rio is most definately my favourite. It's tropical and makes the Lad say I smell fruity (and not in a BO kind of way). It's the one I head for if I can't be bothered to re-curl my hair or wash. It's my Sunday go-to.

New York comes in as a close second. I like to use this if I've been cooking and the smell of the food lingers - onions! - because this really neutralises the nasty smells and boosts a lovely light fragrance.

Which one is your favourite?

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Hello September

Clear crisp mornings, torrential downpours and thick tights. Hello Spetember, I say this every month, but I think you might be my favourite of 2015.
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